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The tactic credited with unraveling John Kerry's presidential campaign is being re-tooled for President Obama.

On Tuesday night, Veterans for a Strong America, a political action group led by Joel Arends, a lawyer and veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, released an ad attacking Obama for exploiting the killing of Osama bin Laden. The powerful spot tugs at the heartstrings of supporters of American Special Forces units and looks in horror at any politician who might put himself above the selfless men of SEAL Team Six. 

The ad also summons the memory of the 2004 Swift Boats Veterans for Truth ad campaign, which succeeded in casting doubt on Sen. Kerry's chief selling point, his Vietnam war hero status. In this respect, the Veterans for a Strong America ad chips away at one of Obama's signature stump lines: I killed bin Laden. In the ad, you'll notice a series of frames proclaiming what "real heroes do" that leave the viewer left thinking: Is that what Obama did?

1. Heroes Don't Seek Credit

(Unlike President Obama)

2. Heroes Put Their Lives on the Line


(Unlike President Obama)

3. Heroes Don't Spike the Football

(Unlike President Obama)

4. And Heroes Don't Politicize Their Acts of Valor

(Unlike President Obama)

The ad then cuts over to the president's announcement of the raid on May 1, 2011, splicing together every instance he refers to himself: "I can report ... I directed Leon Panetta ... I was briefed ... I determined ... at my direction ... I called President Zardari ... I, as commander-in-chief." It then shifts over to the Obama campaign's latest ad with former President Clinton emphasizing how bad a botched raid would've been for President Obama. "For Him"? asks the ad. What about for the SEALs?

It shouldn't surprise anyone that this type of attack campaign was going to surface. The first signs of veteran angst concerning the raid came in a Daily Mail story Monday involving a handful of current and former Navy SEALs chastising the president for using the raid to score political points. That was followed up by a report by BuzzFeed's Michael Hastings, who said he heard similar rumblings from current and former SEALs. 

Of course, the thing about this ad—like the Swift Boat ad—is it's nearly impossible to tell how much this sentiment is genuinely coming from the community it purports to represent. Yes, Swift Boats Veterans for Truth included some 200 Vietnam veterans, but the majority of the veterans had never even served with Kerry. What do we know about "Veterans for a Strong America"? Very little from FEC data at this point though its clear from the group's website it has a somewhat inclusive mission to represent "veterans and veterans' supporters as advocates in the public policy process." One thing that's clear from this advertisement, if more current and former SEALs decided to come out of the woodwork in opposition to Obama, it could do real damage to him.

See the whole ad below:

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